Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Jeannene Eastaway
    Possibly the main thing that has caused me to choose this field of work is that I find people interesting and wonderful. The more I have learnt about people, their patterns and ways of survival, the more fascinated I became. The other main reason why I have chosen to be a counsellor is to understand myself. This has been an on-going and enlightening process....
  • Robyn Price
    Psychotherapy eventually found me. The seed was planted many years ago as I recovered from a bout of depression in my university days. The catalyst for recovery was a creative dance class run by a woman who would become one of Australia's Dance Therapy pioneers, Hanny Exiner. Through her classes, I discovered the healing power of movement, creativity and connection. I continued to dance, study and teach dance, at the same time as building a career in marketing communications, I began my Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) training in 2002....
  • Donald Marmara
    I was motivated to train as a somatic psychotherapist following my own experience of anxiety and depression, and the frustration I felt with my lack of success in overcoming them via limited methods of counselling and psychotherapy. My search for healing led me to London, where I discovered a form of psychotherapy called somatic psychotherapy, or body psychotherapy, and by having individual sessions myself I was able to transform my life....
  • Karen Druce
    My family of origin experiences growing up formed the bedrock of my desire to understand individual differences, personal temperament, human suffering and resilience in the face of life’s storms. ...
  • Ron Dowd
    I feel it has chosen me. Although I worked for many years as a software engineer, I was reading Jung in my 20s and was fascinated, though I didn't understand much of it. I guess I was on the common "hero's journey" path, working in I.T. but also starting to make art. At a certain point I made a serious decision to study art and undertook my MA (Hons) thesis in landscape and imaginal thinking. It was this study that opened up the world of Gestalt to me, particularly its ideas of figure / ground. It was odd how my art works...
  • Carolyn Choy
    I've always been interested in listening to different people's life stories: how they've endured and overcome challenges and pain, as well as what drives them to be so passionate and loving in life. My initial field of IT was fine as a job, but it didn't fuel my soul. I'm so grateful to have searched and taken this other path which has enabled me to offer all of my experience (life and training) to others. I am enriched in return by each connection I make with my clients....
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • Lisa Paul
    I saw there was a gap in the health system in supporting mothers and fathers especially with the transition to parenthood. Everybody focuses on the birth of this baby and the baby itself when it comes but how many times do YOU feel heard? How many times do people check in and ask how your going? In my experience, while having a baby is a wonderful experience, it also comes with an enormous trailer load of different feelings - which can be different for everyone. Commonly, issues around not being a good enough mother, loss of your...
  • Michelle Morris
    From a young age I have been very interested in people and fascinated by people’s stories. I remember when I was around 10 years old being very moved by the film The Three Faces of Eve, about a woman with disociative identity disorder, and from that time being drawn to this vocation. I deeply believe in the healing capacity of therapeutic work and offering what I can to help catalyse the self-healing process....
  • Pam Danson
    had the good fortune to witness masters demonstrating a model which was incredibly transparent to me and made me feel – that’s do-able, that’s learnable, there are steps to follow and I could do that. I was invited to a group by a friend and felt I'd come home. ...
  • Tessa Ipp
    I was going through some issues of my own in my 20's. A good friend suggested I see a wise and insightful Clinical Social Worker, Bev. She had such a profound impact on my life that I decided to change professions. I enrolled to study Social Work at Sydney University and began volunteering as phone counsellor. My field placement with Relationships Australia was another important influence as was meeting a gifted body-mind psychotherapist in 1999. This lead me to study a more holistic approach to psychotherapy involving the...
  • Anna Petinsky
    Psychotherapy is what my heart always knew it wanted to do. From the moment I read my first psychology book, I knew this was my passion. No specific event led me here, just an innate curiosity for mental health....
  • Corina Johns
    It's the only thing I've wanted to do since the age of about 15 when the idea first came to me. I've always had a gift for listening to and helping people, and genuinely love getting to know and understand others. Being a part of a positive change in someone's life is incredibly rewarding, and I would never want to do anything else....
  • Veronik Verkest
    After a difficult period in my work life, I physically became unwell and was eventually diagnosed with a chronic illness. My habitual way of pushing through difficulties and ignoring my body signals was no longer helpful. With the help of a somatic psychotherapist, I started to come back to listen to my body and process the emotional pain I had habitually pushed aside. As my relationship with my self and others transformed, I wished to share my excitement with others. This path led me to train as a relational somatic...
  • Jacquie Flecknoe-Brown
    I was always interested in communication, and the more experienced I became in my profession, the deeper I wanted to explore the therapy modalities. I worked for some time in an acute psychiatric ward where I learned family therapy (Milan school) and realised that even in psychosis, every act and statement was symbolic and had a meaning for the person, and even if it was difficult to decipher, with persistence one could understand the message the person was trying to communicate. This lead me to the master analyst of symbolic...
  • Irene Rose
    I am passionate about working with the human condition and consider it a great privilege to be able to help individuals, couples and families to create a better life, relationships and future for themselves. It brings me tremendous satisfaction to witness people overcome their difficulties and grow and change for the better. ...
  • Lara Petrulis
    As I reflect on this question, I’m not sure if I can say that it was a definite choice that I made. Given my supportive family environment, it seemed a natural progression to continue offering care to others. I can remember as a young child facilitating discussions with my siblings - encouraging them to “communicate openly and express their feelings…” – I just needed to understand the theory behind the practice and perhaps refine my skills a tad! ...
  • Ash Rehn
    I've always been interested in people and their stories. I think our identity – who we ‘are’ – isn’t produced privately and individually but through interaction with others. We need the acknowledgement of others to know ourselves. And having a listener or audience to our life stories can transport us to new places of understanding. So that gives my work purpose and meaning. I commenced my career as a counsellor and social worker because I wanted to do something worthwhile in my life that meant I would be connecting with...
  • Debby Heath
    Like most people who enter this profession, I want to be of service and I know that counselling and psychotherapy can support profound growth and healing that has a 'ripple effect' in the world. I believe this work is a 'calling' more than a job and I feel grateful to be able to be of service in this way....
  • Mary A McIntyre
    Ever since I was a child i have had a passion and curiosity for understanding people and what makes us tick ! My own challenges, good therapy and healing modalities have helped me heal and grow over the years. I am a believer in good therapy....
  • Megan Haire
    While raising a family in the outback and experiencing a lot of difficult experiences first hand or through close friends, I became interested in what makes some people vulnerable and other people resilient in the face of hardship. The outback experience heightened my awareness of the issue of isolation, both geographical and emotional, and how important human connection is in keeping us sane and happy. After my local community suffered a series of suicides during a drought, I wanted to do something to help make a difference to the...
  • Brian Whiter
    For as long as I can remember, I have wondered about the meaning of life. My curiosity about why and how we slip into unstable mental health, and then remain in those unhealthy patterns for indefinite periods, got me interested in the study of the various psychotherapies. I decided to pursue psychotherapy as a profession as it gradually began to point to ways in which I could understand what it meant to be human, and in relationship, and how to better understand myself in these relational dimensions....
  • Vivian Baruch
    I've had a life-long fascination with what makes people tick. Growing up in a dysfunctional family with a father who had PTSD, I've always searched for the ingredients of a successful relationship and family....
  • Sally Walsh
    we all deserve to give ourselves more choice and to live a fulfilling life...
  • Amanda Dounis
    As a young girl still in high school I was always reading books surrounding mental wellness and anything motivational. As it turned out, as an adult all the education and training that I did surrounded helping individuals mentally and emotionally. It is what I can call; a life long passion, and my persistence for learning continues to grow....
  • Tim Hill
    I chose to become a psychotherapist through my own experience of receiving psychotherapy. It was a fascinating process, unlike anything else I had done before, and it changed my life....
  • Elaine Ford
    I have always enjoyed helping people find meaning in their lives. During my hospital training as a student nurse, I met many people who faced significant health challenges or struggled to adjust to their condition. I wanted to learn more to be of greater help to them, which led me to the counselling roles....
  • Michelle Lam
    I grew up in a family dedicated to assisting others through the provision of medical and health services to the community so it is hardly surprising that I developed a strong interest in helping others from an early age. In spite of this, I ended up working in the investment banking and finance industry specialising in mergers and acquisitions. After ten years of working in "the industry" I realised that something was missing and I wanted my life to be different. So I took what was for me a very brave step - I started my personal...
  • Jenetta Haim
    I was always interested in helping people to succeed and progress. When I was a teenager a very wise person said to me that to teach people things properly you must have done them yourself. So I did a lot of study and courses and personal development to work on my own 'stuff' while getting some expertise under my belt. He was right. By knowing myself to some extent it gave me better insight to other people around me and how to help them. ...
  • Stefan Durlach
    For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in how life works, its meaning and purpose, the why’s and how’s of existence. Philosophy, psychology, and spirituality deal with these issues, and psychotherapy integrates them all and applies them to actual lives. Connected with this is a passion for following the oracle at Delphi’s dictum of ‘know thyself’, a fascination with reaching my human potential through an exploration of my internal world, which would enable me to offer this process to other people. I am very...
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